I recently attended the Dublin Literacy Conference. Cheryl Angel and Marisa Saelzler talked about student-created book trailers, and how they use them in their buildings. They shared that when students are able to view or read trailers and recommendations from their peers, those books are immediately in high demand. This is happening in some form or another throughout the district, but in isolation.
With all of the focus on authentic audience and relevance, I had a lightbulb moment. Why not collect all of the trailers into a centralized library, and allow kids from all over the district to have a bigger audience? The added benefit would be that the number of available trailers and recommendations would be huge. Sound overwhelming? Our district uses MediaCore which makes this process very simple. Let's take a look...
Have kids talk about their books. They can write with paper and pencil, or with a word processor. They can draw a picture and record themselves talking about the book. They can make a short commercial. Any of these items can be digitized for the online library.
Scanner Pro to turn that book review into a PDF file.
Students using a tool such as Pages, Keynote, Word, or PowerPoint can export their final product as a PDF file.
If a student draws a picture, use a mobile device to take of picture of that drawing. Students can use that digitized picture in an app like ExplainEverything to add narration, and the final product can be exported as a movie.
When uploading an object into MediaCore, we have to agree on the "particulars," such as naming conventions and tags to include. The tags will allow other students, teachers and parents to search for books by title, author, genre, or reading level.
Do you have a book you want to feature? Perhaps a book written by an author who will visiting your school? If you have an individual book trailer or recommendation to share, each object has its own embed code and sharable link. Use Twitter or other means to get the word out about these objects.
Use the link to create a QR code for book trailers. Copy the link for a particular trailer, paste it into a QR Code Generator such as QRStuff.com, then print the QR code and slip it in the inside cover of a book or on a student-created poster. QR code readers are free and available on most mobile platforms.
Thanks for reading these ideas. I'm excited to get this off the ground and be able to share our collection with the world!
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Monday, February 9, 2015
Last spring, I was approached by Jennifer Wolf who asked for assistance. Usually when teachers ask for help, they have a particular tool in mind. In this particular case, the puzzle was open-ended. When Jen and I put our heads together, the result was amazing! She had a clear view of her goals, and I had my "techie toolbelt."
Jennifer wanted to lead a book chat with reading teachers in her building. The book, The Common Core Reading Book by Gretchen Owaki, was full of big concepts just begging for opportunities for rich, educational conversations. The challenge... It was to be a summer book chat. Hmmm.
We decided that a Twitter chat would be a good place to start. Twitter provided the flexibility for folks to join in from anywhere, even from an adirondack chair during a beach vacation! (That actually happened.)
Here's the nitty-gritty...
The more we brainstormed, the more ideas we generated that could make our initial idea even better. Here's what we did.
- We set up a wiki so that Jennifer and I could both act as editors. We felt that the wiki could act as a one-stop shop for participants. In the wiki, we included the project rationale, chat questions, Twitter archives, shared Google Docs, and other miscellaneous resources.
- We set up a Google Doc that was published and embedded on the wiki. On this doc, participants could view the questions ahead of the chat as they were doing the reading.
- We set up a Google Doc per topic so that teachers could share key ideas.
- The participants began with a face-to-face meeting so that we could get everyone set up on Twitter, and practice the basics of a chat.
- Each subsequent week, teachers participated in the Twitter chat remotely. As I said, the questions were posted ahead of time on the Google Doc and embedded in the wiki.
- Following our live chat, we archived the chat and embedded it the website.
- Throughout the week, teachers were able to put together what they learned from their reading and the chat, and populate a shared Google Doc on the website. Each Doc had a table that encouraged teachers to think about how the week's reading anchor standard applied to other content areas.
Take a look at our finished product! Feel free to try this process with your own book choice and your own people. It worked out really well.
Thanks to @jennifertwolf for this puzzle and for seeing it through. I look forward to seeing what you'll do this summer. Another chat?